Aaron: Hi. Welcome to the Truly Amazing Life show, excited to have you here today and really excited to introduce you to my good friend Matt Shoup. He's from [inaudible]. He is a serial entrepreneur. [inaudible] And Matt is an author, he's also got highly successful painting business and he is now on a mission to really inspire other entrepreneurs and he's starting up a podcast soon, really displaying entrepreneurial heroes and Matt just lives a truly amazing life. He lives the principles that I teach and so I'm excited to be able to share his wisdom with you and ask him what his life is all about. So with that, welcome to the show Matt.
Matt: Thank you Aaron. How are you doing?
Aaron: I'm doing fantastic. How are you?
Aaron: I like it. So I'm excited to hear about more about what you're doing and everything but mostly, I want to focus on what your life's like, why your life is so amazing and just what you're up to, kind of just hear about your philosophy in life and everything like that. So why don't you kick this off and just tell us what, describe to us what your life is like right now, what makes your life truly amazing to you right now. And if you want to give us anymore introduction on yourself personally or anything like that.
Matt: Yeah Life is Amazing. I mean look at everything around you. And I think as entrepreneurs, especially and I know you have a good entrepreneur base of audience that's listening to this, is we're always looking at 'what's next'. What's the next mountain that we can climb? The next success we can have? What is there still yet to be attained? and I've done this for a really long time. I fell a victim to this but really to just sit back and look at how far you've come, how far up the mountain you've climbed. Not just from a success standpoint, but just everything that you have in your life. I think we focus and I focused a lot on what do I not have, what I'm I attaining to go after and shoot for. And I have a beautiful amazing, wonderful wife. I have two of just adorable, amazing, wonderful children that inspire me. That I get up to do this for every day and I forget about that sometimes. You know when you are in the midst of business, you just forget about everything that you've got that you know business goes away if the thing just completely flaps or whatever happens to it that I've got people in my life that I love, that I care about, that love me, that care about me and that's what makes life just amazing for me right now that I get to do this for them and inspire other people to do what they do for the people on their life that they truly care about.
Aaron: Yeah and it seems like, I know this from the conversations you've had, some kind of a turnaround in this particular region where before you are having a lot of business success but maybe there was some mission pieces to that really full amazing life, feel like you're living now and you feel like living your full passion and kind of full potential, is that true?
Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. It's 100% true. I used the word of success and that's where a lot of people shoot for and they want to strive for and attain in life. But one of the things about success where you can fall victim to is the success I call climbing the mountain. You know when you get up to a mountain and then you have another mountain in sight, but as you're climbing this ladder, this mountain, whatever you want to call it, forgetting to bring the other people there with you or remember who the people are that helped to get you there and that you've led them and encouraged and inspired them to come with you. Success is for me, is it's climbing that mountain by yourself and when you get there, when it's alone or lonely at the top and you realized that you haven't brought other people up around you, bringing the other people up around you is really about impact and what have you done to touch their life within the success that you've had but what are these immeasurable things and these marks that you've left in people's lives and on people's hearts that are going to live on beyond you and beyond your company and beyond your actual life here on this planet.
Aaron: Yeah, so tell me... take us back and kind of a little bit of your story then first, when you're having that success but maybe not that impact, so before you kind of bridge that gap, tell us what is your like then and what were you doing and what were you up to?
Matt: Awesome. I'll go back all the way to when I was 9 and 10 years old. I came from a very, very hardworking family and I asked my parents for money for a CD player when I was 9 years old, it was $ 200, that's a lot of money for a 9 year old. And they said 'hey! go find a way to make your own money'. They taught me how to work and I've always been a real X's and O's, I could see the end result and if I want to accomplish X, I need to do A,B and C to make that happen. So I ran a lawn mowing business, snow shoveling business, a candy pedaling business as a young kid and I just love that. That entrepreneurial energy and spirit and space that I can be in, I worked all the way through middle school and high school supporting myself. I got in College and hooked up with a college painting company and I share this story because they re-ignited my passion for entrepreneurship and again, they taught success principles, they really taught you how to go out, build a plan and action plan or roadmap and then align with people and do the things that you need to do to be successful and as a young kid in my late teens or early 20s, when I found out how many painting I was about 22 years old. I graduated collage, I got laid off from a corporate job that I completely hated so it was fine. It wasn't my own time though, they let me go so I started the painting company and just the natural gift I had to be able to take an idea, put it into action and make money. That was a constituted success for me and I just continued to do that, in other words there's nothing wrong with that but as I continue to gain that success...
Aaron: Hold on. you say what was that constituted success for you?
Matt: It was setting a goal and accomplishing whatever it was that I set. I don't know why it was from a monetary or financial standpoint that you know it's not a bad thing to make money but when that was the drive... It really was the drive for me for a really long time.
Aaron: So your definition of success was achieving financial success. Achieving your financial monetary goals basically, that was your main focus.
Matt: It absolutely was. And it was achieving monetary goals with the purpose behind it of supporting my family and helping my family to grow and leave a legacy for them but there was a balance so I got trapped up in it. I got caught up in a little bit too much where I was so concerned about the things and the X's and those that I needed to do that I forgot to you know, there's people involved in this, there's hearts involved in this , there's other lives involved in this and success is great, the X's in those, but when you can really capture and inspire and need somebody at a heart level to want to follow you and join you in what you're doing and have a passion and purpose behind, that's when I really made a shift in business and life and everything that I do.
Aaron: So you mentioned, I think you told me something before about being a successful failure something, there was something you said about like you have some kind of a quote, in our previous conversation like you felt you were the most successful failure or something like that. is that right?
Matt: It was and the story behind that is I'm going to be 33 here in August. I'm 32 and a half, and right around the age of 31, I was getting ready to take a month long trip with my family, we had planned this month long dream vacation for years and years. We have a vision to do this and finally got to the point where we can do it and was not thinking this story comes completely out of left field as am preparing for this trip is I had to update my will and you know dispose a lot of remains and other stuff in case something happened when we were gone to me or to the family. And for me, visioning is very important, I was up early one morning right before we're getting ready to go on this trip and I literally had to paint a picture and envision and to the closest sense that I could physically , emotionally and spiritually put myself in the place of death, of being dead. I called this my near death experience and really envision who would be at my funeral, who would read my eulogy, what would that story be, what was that legacy that Matt shout at that point in my life, what would that story be that I leave behind and I realize that there was a lot of success at variety and the words, you know financial success but really I wasn't leaving an impactful story, really touching and capturing and inspiring people at the heart level and that's where I made that shift that for everything that I focus on, every thought, every action, every appointment in my calendar, everything that I do within my business and my life if it's not focus on a legacy in an inspiring impact or intentional impact, then I stop doing it and I don't do it or I don't speak if I'm not going to speak that in to somebody else's life.
Aaron: So take me more in to that experience. I mean that sounds like a pretty monumental shifting experience. Like you're sitting there in your office or your I mean envisioning this and it sounds like, I mean that sounds like a pretty big shift in your life, was it?
Matt: You know it really was, I'm not naturally a real touchy-feely-cry out movies kind of guy. But I'm sitting there in my kitchen and I remember exactly where I'm sitting, I've got my coffee there on my table, I've got my eyes closed I literally I picture my family, my friends, walking up there to my casket, kissing me on the forehead and I'm dead and I'm gone and I can look down and see all of these and at the moment that my good friend is getting ready to stand up and read my eulogy, I was sitting there screaming like 'hey I want you to make sure that you share this' and I just realized at that moment that I was successful and I had great intentions. I wasn't [you know] robbing, cheating or stealing like that from anybody but I just wasn't intentionally focused on being impactful and really capturing and touching people with a heart level beyond the things that you can measure, beyond setting monetary or business goal or financial goal and that was a huge shift for me.
Aaron: So what were they... so I mean you were like... you mentioned you're looking down you wanted to tell them the things that they should be saying at your funeral. What was it that you wanted to tell them and what shifted in... how did that shift your life? How did that impact you?
Matt: In the first part, even before sharing what it was that I wanted to tell them, it was the point that you shouldn't... it shouldn't be that way, you shouldn't be having to tell somebody what it is. You should be living it out in your actions every day to where there's a 100% absolute certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt that you know what's somebody is going to read, you know what that impact is going to be and I was preparing for them to stand up and just talk about the business success and what I did with business and how was I able to create a strong financial foundation and I was out and I was motivated and I was inspired and then I climbed this great mountain of success, and it was a great inspirational business story but I was so [inaudible] and I'm so fast and hard-charging, I left a lot of people behind. When I say that successful failure that within all of that success I got there to the top or to the top of whatever goal I set I was by myself, I was alone. And that was very emotional, very strong for me at that point.
Aaron: So you were alone and how did that feel?
Matt: Lonely. Lonely and not great and just knowing that making small shifts and concentration in my focus in the questions I asked and really how I can I dig into people's lives and inspired them and motivate them and lead and encourage and connect them was that shift that I needed to make in my actions and really defining you know my talents and my God-given abilities of who I am and what I'm here for on this planet.
Aaron: So it sounds like... if feels like and it sounds like a shift from... and I totally get this like you doing this work to provide for your family. It's a totally noble goal but at the same time, it's kind of a selfish goal because it's just you providing for your family in hitting your success in almost like you made this shift from and I don't mean to say that like in a selfish way because I kind of feel what you're saying, like you have these great intentions and I think I understand and feel where you're coming from but it's almost like you feel the shift where this isn't about me, my success, my life is about who I conserve and bless and how I can impact them. And when you get to that place of I mean it's like redefining success for you almost, isn't it?
Matt: Yeah absolutely. Just because of my personality type and the success that I've had, from being a young kid to where I am today is I always did it and my focus was always on me, it was Matt Shoup who made this happen, it was my work and it was my effort and you know that was very selfish. I have a team of people that helps me get there. I have other leaders and encouragers and people that have spoken in to my life that have helped me get there and I saw the difference in how they led me and pulled me up with them as they were having their success and that's when I made that shift. And one of the biggest things Aaron that I didn't do, is that I didn't clearly define myself. I was defined in terms of who I am if I take the verb 'to be' and say I am Matt Shoup, I know with certainty that I am what and I fill in those blanks a lot of how I define myself was from I didn't want to be, what I didn't want to end up be in life or trying to avoid pain, avoid hurt, avoid a situation where I didn't want to go over versus going towards a positive result. So that was a big shift for me is really give me a lot of time to think about and work through who I am and just what naturally flows out of me just my gifts, my spiritual gifts, my [you know] whatever you call it that flows out of your DNA and what that is and what I can do with that to impact others.
Aaron: Well I love how you made this shifts without having... it gives people example, some people need actual like being painful and almost dying experiences to make big shifts in their life but you had this opportunity just to visualize this and make a big impact and I think that's a cool example for people that we can all make shifts from so many different places in life. It can be the simplest thing that causes us in epiphany and cause us to wake up to certain aspects of our life and to really make some changes or it can be a big thing. I mean whichever happens, happens I think for the reason for each individual person but I think it's just cool to hear your story of hearing how it happened for you it didn't have to be some big hard painful lesson but you're able to take this and really make a shift in your life from just this awareness, becoming aware. sounds really cool.
Matt: It was a great experience and I'm glad I didn't get hit by an 18-wheeler or drown in the pool or something like that, I mean when I say that near death experience, that is the closest that I physically ever been there, that's what it took for me and I mean that really opened my eyes and that was that shift in that moment for me and I'm glad it happened. I'm very blessed that it happened.
Aaron: It's really cool and thanks for sharing that. And so now you're in a different... it's just... like you're in the same place. You still have the same business, your painting business but now you're in a different place. You're on a different mission it sounds like you've just going to revised your mission in life really. How are you're going about in that business, how are you going about your life, maybe tell us more about what you are up to now, what your vision and plan is for how are you going to make that impact?
Matt: And yeah that's a great question that you asked. So I'll used the example of before I had this realization experience and as epiphany as if you went through on our website to mandepainting.com, our vision or about us throughout this mission is hey we're going to provide the highest quality paint job, the best craftsmanship, highest quality materials from our vendors and we'll treat your house like it was ours, we're going to provide you with the best paint job on the market, buy from us. That's our pitch right? That's our angle. And that's just what we do, you better do that like what kind of mission statement is that. You better do a good job with good materials and care for somebody's home...
Aaron: If you're not doing that, you shouldn't be in the business, right?
Matt: And I see that on you know our mission statement or on purpose statement or on a business's why or whatever it is. So if you go to our website now as I've had time, it took me about a year to really work through this personally, your business, any entrepreneur business' is just an extension of who you are personally. I really don't see that there's any wall or division between personal and business, you bring yourself in who you are everyday to your business and that shines through in the actions that you do. So if you can't define who you are, who the heck showing up to your business? What does your business stand for? So now that I've had a chance to define myself, I am a leader and encourager and inspirer, I connect around to visionaries so the purpose of M and E Painting why we are in existence, why I'm in the existence is to encourage entrepreneurship shine a light of leadership in the community. Serve with excellence, give of ourselves and of our gifts and while we do that we're going to happen to paint a whole bunch of homes in Northern Colorado. So that's the shift there. And when we put that in to a very strong language that we can communicate to our customers around the positive values set and then we see what that looks like 2,3 4 years down the road, Now I can take that, I call that the right side of the circle of impact, now that I tie that into the X's and the O's and everything that I've always been great at, that's when everything that we do has to do with everything that we are as a company and I call that "Do You Be". You're doing who you are and Who you are is I am as the first person so that's the shift that has made and an actual tangible example of what is done within our company.
Aaron: And how is that feel now? So I kind... what's the difference and feel of you running your company now versus a couple of years ago?
Matt: It's impactful, it's purposeful. I can see people's eyes light up, whether it's a team member, vendor or somebody within a community, a potential customer, a current or past existing customer, you can just see that and feel that and one of the things to be careful about is you can't just be completely right-sided and hey here's our vision, our values and who we are and what we do. There's a point where you quiet, you shut up and you get to work and you show that. Because the worst that you can do is to not show that in your actions. So when we're able to do that and really have a purpose, I call it 'painting with a purpose.'
Aaron: It sounds like you're... you've feel more full, you feel more complete and just... in life and like you're living that way. So now as you think about your... I mean if you're to think about your eulogy now, does it feel differently than that day when you had that epiphany?
Matt: It absolutely does. I see now the impact that I'm having in people's lives and in the things that I'm doing and I still have that. That mission, that purpose and that passion to support my family and raise my family and raise my kids to stand for something and know that within themselves and be impactful and now everything that I'm doing is relating to that that's within the painting company, that's in my speaking and coaching business and in my podcast actually, with talks of entrepreneurs about how they can be impactful as well. So I'm just completely surrounded in the space right now in everything I do.
Aaron: That's cool. The fact that you've aligned that with who you are and who you know you are, it's just... it allows.. I know... I can get exactly how are you feeling like because it allows you to know I feel like hey I'm living today fully on purpose. I'm living today fully giving my... making an impact and If I die tomorrow I have no regrets because I gave it all today and that's the sense that I get from you and that's... It's cool.
Matt: Yeah and I love the way you summed that up and I challenge all of the listeners and anybody that's tuning in to this podcast. If you got out of your chair or your car or wherever you are, listen to this and you stepped out of the road and you got smacked by a truck or whatever happens, you got hit by lightning and you're gone. You're dead. Everybody's going to have that moment when they die is just everything you've done up to this point living that impact and that story, cause everybody has a story, everybody's going to leave a legacy, it's just a story from the point where you got here and from the point where you left everything you did, who's lives you've touched in between, and if you're not going to be living that impact, then stopped doing what you're doing right away and figure out who you are and what your purpose is here, define yourself and put that in a real strong language and then go do it.
Aaron: What would you say to somebody listening who... maybe they wake up not feeling full of purpose, not feeling like they're impacting and maybe not totally stoked and excited and thrilled on life because they don't know exactly where they're going or what not. I think we all go through to that point in life at some point where we're learning that. But what would you say to somebody or they can do today to make a shift in to move in this direction where today they feel like they can start this process of living an impactful life, living a truly amazing life?
Matt: You know that's a great question. And I can see a lot of power and inspiration in this story that I'm sharing but I could also potentially see listeners sitting here saying 'Well Matt, that's great you got it figured out, you can declare it, you can say it, But I don't know where I'm at right now. This isn't the space. This isn't potentially discouraging you.' From the moment I realized that I wasn't being impactful, it was a year of journey, it really was... it was over a year to really took me to come up with this so the first step is to ask yourself that question. This is the question I ask is, 'Is everything I'm doing timed back in to living an impact?' and if it's not, it's just making that realization and then stepping out of taking time for yourself. It's a very personal, very intimate, very emotional journey to do and just take the time to do it and get out and connect with people. One of the biggest things that I did that helped me in defining myself and my purpose is everybody's got a story and if you are to write out a story of your life and all of the data points and the things that have happened, all of the high points and low points and how you've created identity in that, you can start to see a pattern of there's something you're trying to avoid, is there a pain you're trying to avoid, is there a potential positive outcome that you are going through. I'm no councilor, I'm no expert in this. This is just me sharing my experience. But get with people that you know and get their opinion and their feedback is valued and matters. Somebody that wants and encourage you and see you in making an impact and have them open up a blind window. So something that a blind spot I mean. Start something that they can potentially see about you that you can't see about yourself and open that line of communication, really receive that feedback, and I did that, that was very helpful. That was a great first step.
Aaron: So what did you do specifically there?
Matt: I don't know if you have done this exercise, something called the Johari Window. It's basically if you draw a square out on a piece of paper and you draw a T on that square, you break that square into four smaller squares there's a window, so it's things that you know and see about yourself that other's know and see about you. It's called an open window. So I'm Matt Shoup, I have blue eyes, I know that, you know that. Then there is a closed window, those are the things that I know about myself but I choose not to disclose to you, Aaron. So that's a closed window. And then you have a window that something that you can see about me that I can't see about myself. So if you can expose that to me, that is called the Blind Window. If you can open up that blind window for me and then I can open up my closed window and share more with me to others, whether that's part of a current past story of my life some of those existing powerful points there that's make the blind spot. That's the spot that nobody can see. You can't see it either in other that makes the blind window smaller and it really opens up your complete being of who you are, you can really pinpoint those things that are just part of your make up.
Aaron: So you go through that process and you ask somebody to or you expect somebody else to literally write you and tell you what they see about you in a positive like what they see your strengths are or weaknesses or what?
Matt: You know, yeah.. it's strengths, it's weaknesses, it's really any feedback that helped me do that definition piece of myself, it was 'Hey Matt here's something that I see about, for example, you being a father that I don't know if you see it and then they put that out there and I received that and I really took that in and then I shared with them, 'Hey here's something with me... about me that you don't know that I would like to share with you'. As you continue to open those two windows it makes the fourth window, the blind window smaller.
Aaron: So you do it with somebody who you can trust and who knows you very well and you respect and then go through that process, just kind of asking each other and telling things like that?
Matt: Yeah absolutely. And getting with the right person is key. I mean you don't want to get with somebody that has it out for you, for example, I was going to say "hey I think you're a jerk and you're ugly" or whatever that is. I mean everybody, I call it your circle or your crew, those people that
when things are not going well, like you know when I perform this exercise, my EO form with a mentor that I know that I've worked with for a really long time and I literally have like three or four really good friends that I'm super closed with that I would spill and share anything to and those are the people that I went to.
Aaron: Yeah... that's a great little exercise that people could do to start their process of self discovering and I like how you said that it is a process so for me listening you know... it's great to think 'hey let's have an epiphany once day, you wake up and our whole life is going to shift but you know it doesn't have to be that huge thing and it also isn't like everything in all of a sudden changes or whatever. Like you said it took a year of this discovery for you in probably writing and doing this exercise and just this exploration and time with yourself to understand really who you are on a deeper level but it was more to just like opening your eyes to that initial awakening that's what you needed to do and you can proceed on that journey and life is a journey and so I just encourage people to listen to this, take the ideas but be patient with yourself and say 'hey take the time to go get to know yourself and really do some introspection.' It sounds like Matt, the main thing you found out is discovering who you are, right?
Matt: Absolutely. Yes.
Aaron: And can you... maybe as we wrap up here, just leave us with one final piece of wisdom or thought on... Well first, tell us how people can get in touch with you and hear more about you if you've got... you know your podcast or any other information that we might build and look you up and need to know you more but we'll finish up maybe just tell us one final parting piece of advice or wisdom on what's the important thing you've learned on how to live a truly amazing life?
Matt: I would love to and the best way to get in touch with me is my personal website, it's mattshoup.com. So if you go there, I've got my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all those my connections to follow me there. And if you subscribe to I do a weekly blog, where I just share some drops of business' wisdom about impact, the circle of impact and when you join the community I will actually going to send you I've got a free workbook from my book that I wrote 'Becoming an Award-Winning Company' and then also the 'Circle of Impact' diagram. So everybody that's listening to this right now, when you actually visually see that diagram, it makes a lot more sense with everything we just talked to so that would be the best way to get in touch with me and some stuff that I'll send your way when you do.
Aaron: Yeah. Awesome. And maybe you could send me that picture and I can stick in on website so people that on this call and they can just get that quick visuals and I'll put a link over on trulyamazinglife.com/podcast so you can get the link straight over to mattshoup.com in case you didn't hear that spelling on the audio here or whatever, so we'll go ahead and do that. Awesome. Thank you Matt and maybe just leave us with one final thought on what's the most important thing that somebody get to do today to move in that direction of living a truly amazing life?
Matt: You know it's just make that decision. It's really easy to stay in our comfort zone whether that's our success or existence in business and not push the envelope anymore. One of the biggest things and I'm actually going through this right now and I'll just open this and share this and I don't know what it all looks like yet, but when you make a decision to be impactful and to touch lives and to really go out and do something amazing and great, and you surround yourself with great people to be able to do that, it's great, it's powerful, but there are other people, there's forces and energy out there that doesn't want that to happen and you decide. You're going to step it up and step out of that comfort zone, and really make an impact, you put this huge target on your back, and all of a sudden you're going to start to feel that resistance and push back so it's something that you know be ready to do it and when you do just know that they'll be pushed back and it's a fight but it is worth it. The juice is worth the squeeze.
Aaron: I love that! I really like you pointing that out because it is very true. Anytime you go trying to do something great, when you stepped outside of your comfort zone, that's where you know you'd meet resistance and pain and all these things but that should be your sign that you're on the right track.
Matt: And I've got a lot of it right now. And I've been working through that with again, with my circle and I've been sharing a lot with my wife and people that are really close to me and they say 'hey that's how you know it that you're doing it. When was the last time you've felt stuff like this?' And I said 'It really hasn't been for any part of my life.'
Aaron: Therefore you know... you know you're outside of you comfort zone. You know you're growing, you know you're pushing the envelope, right?
Aaron: One question is, do you feel, have you felt fears that you haven't felt in a long time?
Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. It's one thing for you know... for me to stand here and share my story, you know success, this awakening that I went to define myself, that's great right? but yeah but there is times of fear right now you definitely have to consider where this fear come from? who is speaking that fear in to your life? whether you believe in god or you don't believe in God. There are things that are from certain places and energies and then there are things.. yeah.. there's a lot of fear, and there's self doubt, and there's this inner voice that's a constant battle and fight going on and I can just feel that. And I'm fighting through it and I love it. It's making me stronger and pushing me and allowing me to do my being and do why I'm here.
Aaron: I love how you say you love it! And that's what people need to embrace because when you feel the fear, that's your guide. That's the thing. It's just like the thing that's telling you, you are moving in the right direction. I used fear as my compass and I just when I feel that fear, yes I feel it and it's scary but it's also exciting because I know that I'm on the right track. I love how you share that we'll dig in to more of it sometime on that because we all have them. The bigger the dreams, the bigger the fears, the bigger the impact you're going to make. And the more fear, the more you come up with the challenge and so I love this conversation. Thank you so much for being on the line. We'll wrap it up. And everybody thanks for being here and we look forward in having you on the next call.
01:25 - Matt shares what makes his life truly amazing
03:00 - The Missing Piece of the Puzzle regardless of all Matt's accomplishments
04:21 - Having that success without impact - a Flashback
07:23 - "I'm the most successful failure"
10:45 - That monumental shift on Matt's Life
16:30 - The new vision and focus in making an impact on someone else's life
21:05 - If you're not going to be living that impact, stop doing what you're doing right away and figure out who you are
24:29 - The Johari Window
30:01 - Make THAT Decision. "The Juice is worth the squeeze."